THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid a raging controversy and charges of corruption related to sanctioning of additional Higher Secondary batches in the state, two members of the personal staff of Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb were relieved of their duties on Thursday,giving rise to suspicion that something is rotten somewhere.
Rabb said two assistant private secretaries _ Muhammed Anzari and Sajeed Khan Panavelil _ were relieved of their duties on Thursday ‘’after requests made by the officials themselves.’’ Sajeed was also functioning as the Public Relations Officer of the Education Minister.
The development is bound to buttress the charges already in the air that sanctioning of Plus Two schools has a money wheel with it at various levels. Government Chief Whip P C George said the officials should have been relieved of their duties earlier,whatever be the compulsions.
“At a time when there is a cloud of suspicion on the entire process and allegations of corruption, their exit may only fuel talk that they were money-takers or middlemen. The minister concerned or prominent IUML leaders are not involved in anything fishy. But many in the lower rung of the party may not be clean,’’ George said.
“It is only sheer coincidence,’’ maintained Abdu Rabb when asked what explanation other than corruption is attributed by the people on the exit of the two officials on the same day. ‘’I haven’t thought about a controversy on that too. Now,I’ve to live with it. There is no other way,’’ rued Abdu Rabb.
“Muhammed Anzari,a government employee, was working as my PA when I was an MLA.He got a promotion eight months ago and was made an Assistant Private Secretary in my staff. He had been requesting to relieve him from duty since a year, citing family problems and personal health issues. He is also keen to go abroad as his many of his close relatives are in the US and the Gulf,’’ Rabb said.
“In the case of Sajeed,he was not able to come to terms with the new trends in media and respond to the social media. It was felt amid the flurry of allegations against me,’’ the minister said.
“My resignation is purely on personal grounds and I am awaiting instructions on my new assignment at the secretariat,” Anzari, an undersecretary at the state secretariat said. Sajeed, a former journalist and writer, said that he resigned to pay more attention to his ‘literary pursuits.’ “My literary activities had been on the wane ever since my stint with the Education Ministry began. Now I can pursue my literary activities on a full-time basis,” he said.
Both officials denied reports that the resignation was a fallout of allegations from various quarters on the sanctioning of additional Plus-Two batches.